Structure Fire Investigation
Standard letter grades
Contact hours total
FIRE 101, FIRE 102, FIRE 110, FIRE 112, FIRE 120, FIRE 175, and FIRE 205.
Provides the technical knowledge needed for proper fire scene interpretations, including recognizing and conducting origin and cause, preservation of evidence and documentation, scene security, motives of the fire setter, and types of fire causes. This course is a FESHE non-core requirement and is equivalent to NFA C0283.
The following learning outcomes are those of the National Fire Academy (NFA).
1. Demonstrate the importance of documentation, evidence collection, and scene security process needed for successful resolution.
2. Demonstrate the process of conducting fire origin and cause.
3. Identify the processes of proper documentation.
I. Emergency Responder Responsibilities and Observations
A. Responsibilities of the Fire Department
B. Responsibilities of the Firefighter
C. Responsibilities of the Fire Officer
D. Observations When Approaching the Scene
E. Observations Upon Arrival
F. Observations During Firefighter Operations
G. Identification of Incendiary Devices
II. Constitutional Law
A. Criminal Law
B. Constitutional Amendments
III. Case Studies
A. Michigan v. Tyler
B. Michigan v. Clifford
C. Daubert Decision
D. Benfield Decision
E. Kuhmo/Carmichael Decision
IV. Fire Investigation Terminology
A. Terms as They Apply to Structural Fires
B. Terms as They Apply to Vehicle Fires
C. Other Common Investigative Terms.
V. Basic Elements of Fire Dynamics
B. Heat Transfer
C. Flame Spread
D. Burning Rates
E. Fire Plumes
F. Fire Analysis
VI. Building Construction
A. Types of Construction
B. Building Materials.
C. Building Components.
VII. Fire Protection Systems
A. Extinguishment Systems
B. Detection Systems
C. Signaling Systems
D. Other Building Services
VIII. Basic Principles of Electricity
A. Basic Electricity
B. Wiring Systems
C. Common Electrical Systems
IX. Health and Safety
A. Methods of identification
B. Common Causes of Accidents
C. Common Causes of Injuries
X. Fire Scene Investigations
A. Examining the Fire Scene
B. Securing the Fire Scene
C. Documenting the Fire Scene
D. Evidence Collection and Preservation
E. Exterior Examination
XI. Determining Point of Origin
A. Interior Examination
B. Area of Origin
C. Fire Patterns
D. Other Indicators
E. Scene Reconstruction
F. Point of Origin
XII. Types of Fire Causes
XIII. Vehicle Fires
A. Examination of Scene
B. Examination of Exterior
C. Examination of Driver and Passenger Area
D. Examination of Engine Compartment
E. Examination of Fuel System
F. Examination of Electrical System
This course requires students to purchase a textbook.
Grades will be determined by weekly homework, midterm exam, field exercises, final presentation and final exam; may include discussion and short essays.